The Commerce Builder Award

Celebrating Our Local Trailblazers

Each year the Hampton Roads Global Commerce Council presents its Commerce Builder Award to an individual or company whose contributions have significantly influenced the growth of commerce and trade in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since 1956, the Commerce Builder Award has been presented to recipients who have displayed extraordinary vision and outstanding leadership qualities.

2024 Award Recipient

US Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District

For more than 200 years, the Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District has supported the nation’s river-based commerce, protected established population centers, provided disaster response and constructed military facilities to protect our shores. The Norfolk District engages in civil works, military construction, regulatory, and emergency operations missions throughout the Commonwealth.

The Norfolk District routinely makes instrumental contributions to critical projects throughout Hampton Roads. Collaborating with The Port of Virginia, it is the federal sponsor of the Norfolk Harbor and Channels Improvement Project, also known as the “Wider, Deeper, Safer” dredging project. The project will deepen the Inner Harbor Channels to 55 feet, Chesapeake Bay’s Thimble Shoal Channel to 56 feet and the Atlantic Ocean Channel to 59 feet.

Previous Commerce Builder Award Recipients

2024 US Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District
2023 John F. Reinhart
2022  Jeffrey S. Heller
2020 Danny S. Glover
2019 USCG, Hampton Roads Sector
2015 Lawrence Ewan
2014 B. Wayne Coleman
2013 Senator Frank Wagner
2012 Shirley Roebuck
2011 J. William (Bill) Cofer
2010 Arthur W. Moye, Jr.
2009 Martin H. Schlosser
2008 Thomas Capozzi
2007 Griff Lynch
2006 Robert T. Taylor
2005 Richard N. Knapp
2004 Captain George E. Watkins
2003 Charles G. Rosemond
2002 Carroll N. Harris, Jr. / David C. Wimble
2001 Robert T. Hasler
2000 Honorable George Allen
1999 Colonel J. Jack W. Hilgers
1998 Mary M. Tritch
1997 Honorable Robert E. Martinez
1996 BEACON Advisory Committee
1995 Raymond R. Brewer
1994 Gerald L. Parks
1993 Johnnie J. Johnson
1992 Dennis H. Murphy
1991 John W. Tillie
1990 J. Robert Bray
1989 Honorable Gerald L. Baliles
1988 Shin – Ichiro Nagashima
1987 Edward G. Kreyling, Jr.
1986 Joseph A. Dorto

1985 Honorable Charles S. Robb
1984 Franklin O. Blechman
1983 John L. Roper, III
1982 Norfolk Southern Corporation
1981 Honorable John N. Dalton
1980 Richard L. Counselman, Jr.
1979 W. Wright Harrison
1978 Mills E. Godwin, Jr.
1977 Edwin J. Adams
1976 James N. Crumbley
1975 Reginald G. Narelle
1974 James G. Page
1973 George C. Garris
1972 David D. Alston
1971 T. Parker Host, Jr.
1970 John T. Nix
1969 James J. Gara
1968 Eldridge M. Whitehurst
1967 City of Norfolk, Virginia
1966 Colonel James W. Roberts
1965 Daniel M. Thorton
1964 Larry E. Pentecost
1963 Honorable Thomas M. Downing
1962 Captain G. Alvin Massenburg
1961 Barron F. Black
1960 J. Rives Worsham, Sr.
1959 Honorable Porter Hardy, Jr.
1958 Fred W. McWane
1957 Harry M. Thompson
1956 Honorable Harry Flood Byrd